Best Books of 2006
A few of the sequential artifacts that breached the transom this year kicked my comics-loving ass in a good way. Kevin Huizenga's collection, Curses, from Drawn & Quarterly, brought literary strata of character and theme along with its refreshing whimsy; Pizzeria Kamikaze Asaf Hanuka's adaptation of an Etgar Keret story and Dash Shaw's The Mother's Mouth, both from Alternative Comics, expanded the parameters of storytelling and elegant presentation; Schizo (Fantagraphics) by Ivan Brunetti was a tureen of bitter ambrosia. I got hooked crack-level on Viz Media's Deathnote by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata; it's a manga reminiscent of Anthony Shaffer's battle-of-wits classic, Sleuth, but with Japanese gods of death, a notebook that kills, and the entire Tokyo police force. Also in 2006, Chris Onstad introduced "The Great Outdoor Fight" in his webstrip Achewood, pushing machismo past its boiling point and, in the end, promoting friends' loyalty über alles.